Set up an audience source

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has replaced Universal Analytics (UA). Starting July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data. (360 Universal Analytics properties with a current order will receive a one-time processing extension ending on July 1, 2024.) It's critical that you migrate your Universal Analytics property to Google Analytics 4. Learn how to Make the switch to Google Analytics 4.

Audiences are moving to Google Analytics 4. Universal Analytics stopped processing website events and adding users to audience segments on July 1, 2023. For continued website measurement, create an audience in Google Analytics 4. Learn more about Migrating audiences to Google Analytics 4.

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll find the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place. Click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon and open the “Audiences, keywords and content” tab and click Audiences. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more About Audience reporting.
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the Updates to Audience terms and phrases.

An audience source is a first-party data source you can use to create your data segments in Google Ads. For example, you can set up an audience source to reach people who've visited your website, used your app, watched your video, or shared their information with you.

This article explains how to set up an audience source.

Benefits

  • Set up or link audience sources to expand your reach.
  • Manage, monitor, and troubleshoot your audience sources.
  • View tag hits, active parameters, and your data lists created from each audience source.

Choose an audience source

Most audience sources require you to link your Google Ads account with the source’s account. Follow the instructions below to set up a new audience source in your Google Ads account.

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

Google tag

Collect data for your data segments and conversion tracking by adding the Google tag to your website.

Instructions

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click the Shared library drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audience manager, then click Audience sources.
  4. In the Google tag card, click Set up tag.
    1. If you already set up a Google tag, you can edit the tag by clicking the 3-dot menu and then Edit.
  5. Decide what data your tag should collect:
    1. “Collect standard data available from this data source” collects general website visit data.
    2. “Collect specific attributes or parameters to personalize ads” tailors your ads based on user activity.
      • This option is also known as “Dynamic remarketing” and allows you to show ads to people based on their activity on your site or app.
  6. Select the general parameters you'd like to track
  7. If you selected “Collect standard data available from this data source” move on to step 9.
  8. If you selected “Collect specific attributes or parameters to personalize ads”:
    1. Select a business type.
      • Business type is used to tell your tags to collect information about activity on your website that's specific to your business type. If your business type isn’t listed, select “Other (custom option)".
    2. Select the business type parameters you'd like to track.
  9. Click Create and continue
  10. Install the Google tag and Google Ads event snippet in the <head> section of your HTML pages. Learn more About the Google tag.
  11. Click Done.
Google Analytics 4 property / Firebase project

For Google Analytics 4 properties and Firebase projects, you can import web and app conversions, transactions, and audience segments built in Google Analytics to your Google Ads account.

Before you begin

  • Make sure you have the necessary permissions to find the view levels in your Google Analytics 4 property or Firebase project.
  • Link your Google Analytics 4 property or Firebase project with your Google Ads account.
  • You can find your data lists and tag hits for Google Analytics 4 properties and Firebase projects in the "Google Analytics (GA4) and Firebase" card in “Audience sources."
  • Dynamic remarketing for web isn’t supported by Google Analytics 4 properties.

Instructions

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click the Shared library drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audience manager, then click Audience sources.
  4. In the “Google Analytics (GA4) and Firebase” card, click Link to Google Analytics (GA4) and Firebase.
  5. Click Link next to each property or project that you want to add to your Google Ads account.
  6. To add more properties or projects, click Enable audiences in the "Google Analytics (GA4) and Firebase" card.

YouTube

Show your ads to people who engage with your YouTube channel, track what people do after watching video ads, and drive clicks with call-to-action overlays.

Learn how to Link YouTube channels with Google Ads.

Play

Create data segments based on your current app users and track in-app purchases as conversions to find which ads drive action.

Learn how to Link Google Play and Google Ads.

App analytics

Link a third-party app analytics provider or your own software development kit (SDK) to your Google Ads account.
Note: If you want to use Firebase as an audience source, check out the "Google Analytics App + Web and Firebase" section.

Instructions

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click the Shared library drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audience manager, then click Audience sources.
  4. In the App analytics card, click Set up.
  5. Decide what data your source should collect:
    • “Collect standard data available from this data source” collects general website visit data.
    • “Collect specific attributes or parameters to personalize ads” tailors your ads based on a feed and user activity.
      • This option is also known as “Dynamic remarketing” and allows you to show ads to people in your data segments based on their activity.
  6. Decide if you want to “Include the user ID parameter in the tag”. If so, check the box. If not, leave it unchecked.
    • If your website has a user login, this parameter will collect the user IDs of people in your data segment so you can show more personalized ads.
  7. If you selected “Collect standard data available from this data source” move on to step 9.
  8. If you selected “Collect specific attributes or parameters to personalize ads”:
    1. Choose a business type.
      • Business type is used to tell your tag to collect information about activity on your website or app that's specific to your business type. If your business type isn’t listed, select “Other (custom option)".
    2. Select the parameters you want to track.
  9. Click Create and continue.
  10. Install an SDK.
  11. Create a feed for ad personalization (if you selected “Collect specific attributes or parameters to personalize ads”).

Customer data

Use marketing data to reach your customers as they browse across Google's properties like Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail. Learn how to Create a customer list.

Instructions

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click the Shared library drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audience manager, then click Segments.
  4. Click the plus button to create a new audience segment.
  5. Choose “Customer segment”.
  6. Choose whether to upload customer data in a plain text data file or a hashed data file.
    1. If you choose plain text, the private customer data in your file will be hashed on your computer using the SHA256 algorithm before it’s sent securely to Google's servers.
    2. If you choose to hash your data, make sure it meets the requirements described in the Data file upload requirements section of this article.
  7. Choose your file.
  8. If you agree, check the box “This data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google's policies
  9. Set a membership duration. The default is unlimited, but you can set a custom time limit.
  10. Click Save.
  11. You can view the progress of uploading your data file under "Segments". This process may take up to 48 hours to complete.

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